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Commenting on the decision, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The fascinating new events that we approved today, together with the five new sports that were added to the Tokyo 2020 programme last year, represent a step-change in the Olympic programme. I am delighted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be more youthful, more urban and will include more women.”
The EB decision will lead to a net increase of 15 events, an overall reduction of 285 athletes from Rio 2016, and the highest representation of female athletes in Olympic history. In Tokyo, the number of mixed events will double from nine in Rio 2016 to 18. All new events will make use of existing venues.
Today’s decision is a significant step towards achieving the 50 per cent gender balance at the Olympic Games in both athletes and events, as clearly stated by Olympic Agenda 2020.
Four new International Federations (IFs) will move to gender-balanced in events for the first time (Canoe, Rowing, Shooting and Weightlifting). In terms of athletes, six IFs will move to gender balance for the first time (Canoe, Judo, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting and Weightlifting). At discipline level, gender balance is achieved in BMX Racing, Mountain Bike and Freestyle Wrestling.
The programme also includes youth-focused and urban-based additions such as Basketball 3x3 and BMX Freestyle, on top of Sport Climbing and Skateboarding. Basketball 3x3 was a successful innovation at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore 2010 and Nanjing 2014. Sport Climbing and Skateboarding were proposed along with Baseball/Softball, Karate, and Surfing by Tokyo 2020 last year.
The next edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games, which will take place in Buenos Aires in October 2018, will already feature BMX Freestyle, Karate and Sport Climbing as well as several new innovative urban sports such as Breakdance and Roller Sports.
The review process for the Tokyo 2020 programme started in Rio 2016, where comprehensive data were collected for the first time at event level, giving IFs unparallelled insight into the overall performance of their sports, disciplines and events at the Olympic Games. Concurrently, IFs were invited to submit their requests for changes to their events, athlete quotas and competition formats to the IOC by February 2017.
Having reviewed the proposals in full, the Olympic Programme Commission met on 5 May and made a number of recommendations to the IOC EB. Based on these recommendations, the EB took the following decision regarding new events in Tokyo:
800m (M) & 1500m (W)
4x100m Medley Mixed Relay
Mixed Team Event
4x400m Mixed Relay
Transfer of two men's events to two women's events
Transfer of three men's events to three women's events
BMX Freestyle Park (M/W)
Team Events (M/W)
Transfer of one men's event to one women's event
Transfer of Mixed Multihull to Mixed Foiling Multihull
Transfer of three men's events to mixed events
Mixed Team Relay
Reduction of one men’s weight category
Tokyo 2020 was consulted throughout the process and gave its agreement on the principles applied to the review of all events. Together with the IOC, it was agreed that there should be minimal impact on additional venues and athletes, and on the overall competition schedule.
The EB today also approved the recommendations of the Programme Commission with regard to the athlete numbers by sport - as follows:
Aquatics (Water Polo)
Reduction in Water Polo team size, addition of two women’s Water Polo teams
Reduction of 22 athletes
Reduction of 105 athletes
Inclusion of 3x3 with 8 teams for each gender, +64 athletes (32W/32M)
Transfer of 44 athletes from men to women
Transfer of 55 athletes to reach gender balance
Cycling (BMX Racing)
Transfer of 8 athletes to reach gender balance
Transfer of 8 athletes to reach gender balance in MTB, transfer of 4 male athletes to BMX Freestyle
Transfer of 14 men to BMX Freestyle
Transfer of 38 athletes to reach gender balance
Reduction of 24 athletes and reach gender balance
Reduction of 30 athletes and reach gender balance
Reduction of 64 athletes and reach gender balance
Reduction of 56 athletes across all disciplines and gender balance in Freestyle Wrestling
The full programme of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is available here.
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